Cathedral Cologne

Gay Cologne Cologne Travel Guide

Known as the ‘other’ gay capital of Germany, Cologne is the less obvious – yet in no way inferior – gaycation destination of choice. An easy-going city reminiscent of Southern Europe whenever the sun comes out, Cologne boasts an entirely unique architectural landscape where the meandering alleyways of the Old Town lead towards post-war industrial districts revamped with trendy artisan offerings and café culture for days. Enjoy the city’s hearty speciality of Himmel und Erde alongside a crisp locally crafted Kölsch Beer, before exploring along the Rhine to find Roman relics, a renowned cathedral and endless museums and art galleries. With Carnival and Bear Pride in winter as well as the main Pride and Fetish Pride in the summer, Cologne is bound to keep you entertained all year round particularly in the gay nightlife hubs on Schaafenstrasse and around the Heumarkt area. Wondering what to do in Cologne? Put your faith in our definitive Cologne gay city guide.

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The best hotels in Cologne

Let’s kick off our Cologne gay travel guide with a roundup of the best places to stay. THE QVEST hideaway is an ideal top choice, located in a beautifully restored neo-Gothic building that gives off a cathedral-like atmosphere while the inside comes fitted with simple and minimalistic styles inspired by fifties and sixties classics. Located in the heart of Cologne’s Old Town, just minutes from the best Cologne points of interest and the top bars, cafés and restaurants, this luxury hotel is a stylish escape serving up a great breakfast every morning at the on-site restaurant. Another conveniently placed five-star gem is the Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom, directly across from the Cologne Cathedral. In addition to elegant rooms and award-winning cuisine, the Excelsior has been family-run since 1863, giving the feeling of homely luxury throughout its spacious rooms. Aside from its Michelin-starred French restaurant, guests can also try the Excelsior’s Asian fusion restaurant and live piano bar before relaxing in the gym and sauna.

On the banks of the Rhine lies Art’otel Cologne, nicely placed in the historic city centre just five minutes from the gay scene around the Heumarkt. As well as minimalistic, spacious rooms, this artsy hotel’s facilities include an outdoor terrace, sauna, library and international restaurant. Over on a side street of the Old Town, close to all the best Cologne sightseeing sites, is the Stern am Rathaus, offering modern design, a breakfast buffet and café. If being close to Cologne’s gay scene is a top priority, the Steigenberger Hotel Köln may tempt you, located as it is just five minutes from the top Schaafenstrasse gay bars; IRON, Die Mumu and ExCorner. With many of its spacious rooms featuring stunning views over the city, the Steigenberger is a four-star beauty, complete with a restaurant serving up a daily buffet breakfast and a bistro bar for late-night hydration and snacks.

Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom

Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom

Stern am Rathaus | Photo: Anna Wagner

Stern am Rathaus | Photo: Anna Wagner

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